oh help me, I want some right now

Scouring the net for something celebratory, I stumbled upon a Seattle chocolate walking tour of downtown. Tony bought us tickets and away we went the next morning for my best birthday ever.

The tour began in a hotel lobby, where we received head-set radios, then continued into the hotel bar, where we started our day with harsh, Bacardi heavy drinks as we waited for the latecomers to straggle in. The members of the group, finding this a bit much for ten a.m., mostly left full glasses behind as we left, while the tour leader, a brash young man with close cropped hair and humour, ignored our concern and led us out into the street, brandishing flash cards with various pictures of cocoa plants. I knew, then and there, the tour was going to be a riot, and it was, and for all the wrong reasons.

The next stop was a bakery, too small to let us in, where Tony and I began to break the rules. We were meant to wait outside in the chilly wind while plates of treats were handed out, but given half a chance, we darted inside, snagging coffee and snuggling in the warm, secure that if the group left, we’d hear it on the radio. It was there, too, we began to gain a reputation. Not for trouble, even though we were constantly making out, wandering off, and already knew all the answers to his questions, but as The Official Hedonists. Whenever we had a chance to speak, everything that spilled from our mouths sounded naughty. “Does anyone have any questions about the chocolate?” “Oh yes,” replied Tony, as innocent as the world, “This enrobing you were talking about.. Is it possible to enrobe a person in chocolate?” Never in my life have I been so obviously pigeonholed as a passionate, odd-ball sensualist. We very quickly became the secondary entertainment. “Can anyone tell me the best use of cocoa butter?” “Oh yes!” I said, delighted, “Body massage!”

We made him blush. We were winked at by various chocolate shop staff. The other members of our tour gave each other smoldering dark and secret looks. It was perfect and ever so much fun. So much so that our game even made up for the fact that one stop on the gourmet chocolate tour was at a popcorn shop. (Fail).

In summary: Skip the tour. Use the money instead to spend your money directly at the Dahlia Bakery, The Chocolate Box, (ignoring, if you can, their questionable chocolate smeared child banner), Fran’s chocolate’s, but most importantly, the blissful drinking chocolate at The Confectional. Do not let them fool you with their tiny cheesecakes. They are nothing. NOTHING. THE DELICIOUS DRINK IS ALL.


Just got this in an e-mail:

In case you haven’t heard, the West Coast Chocolate Festival is back with a list of exciting events that will run from Oct 15-Nov 10. Some of the more popular events to be featured are the Chocolate High Tea; Wines, Liqueurs and Chocolate; Single Malt Scotch and Chocolate; the Cooking with Chocolate seminar at the Pacific Institute of Culinary Arts and the Chocolat ce Soir at Horizons Restaurant with Chef Garrett and MaĆ®tre Chocolatier Wim Tas of ChocolaTas. Perfect for chocoholics or just a nice night out on the town. More info can be found on the festival website at www.chocolatefestival.ca.

black and white grainy fear films

Chocolates shaped like Hep-C.

The rain against the glass wall sounded like ice-sheets breaking. He found me last night in the hall, a knot of velvet resolution reading at the door. Ninth floor. I held my hand to his heart and felt as he fell asleep. A smile and his entire body sighed.

Ukrainian Fairy-Tale Graffiti.

There are four hundred stainless steel rods precisely equidistant in a field in a valley approximately 200 miles south of Albuquerque in New Mexico. You are not allowed to take pictures. In July and August, the cost to visit is $250 per person. Reservations must be made through written correspondence and you may only reserve one night only. The delineated space of these four hundred rods is a grid exactly a mile long and a kilometre wide. They were placed there by a man named Walter De Maria. They are lightning rods. That is their purpose, their conversation, their drop-dead-gorgeous meaning, to call down the gods. The Lightning Field is available for visiting from May 1 through October 31, seven days a week. I have never been, but I am still in love.

“Tyger, Tyger, burning bright.”

The most terrifying thing I have learned this week is that bees are disappearing. The worker bees are leaving the hives and never returning, and without them the queen and larvae aren’t cared for and the colony collapses. My belly goes cold, reading the articles. No one is finding drifts of dead bees, only that the hives are now barren. Millions of them have vanished. It feels unreal. There is a range of theories regarding the missing bees, but none with any explanation. Most presume the bees are presumably collapsing in the fields from exhaustion or becoming disoriented and dying in the cold of night, unable to find their hives again, but do not say why these guesses are likely. Researchers have given the mystery a name, presuming it’s an illness they call colony collapse disorder. I am scared, understanding only that this is a sign of a ruin far greater than the articles seem to see. Cue music, run credits. Black.

3,7-dihydro-3,7-dimethyl-1H-purine-2,6-dione for the weak of heart

I call him the Marquis of Missionary. We met in a narrow therapeutic index, literally chronic first contact. A bitter alkaloid, now he musses up my hair on a daily basis. Ten minutes every morning, ten minutes every night, a lecture comprised of similar compounds, my heels digging into his back. Our wet chemistry excludes quantitative chemical analysis, I don’t want children until marriage. His family, caffinated, seem like other basic nitrogen-containing yuppies. Despite their frequently confusing genus, they are dull, lacking in suffix. I don’t like spending time with them, I would rather derive my pleasure down the coast to our cabin, our celluloid haven.